KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Mekons – “Journy to the End of the Night ” – [Quarterstick Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

The Mekons have been around since 1976 , making one or two albums a year since then and are still creating interesting music. Blends of strumbly folk with reggae tinged lyrics, fiddle driven cow-punk tear stained ballads, moody gloomy happy pop songs – whatever the want to do seems to come out great. Important, clever lyrics, great arrangements – a KFJC standard (check the library!) well worth many spins… Try any track. *review by Studebaker Hawk

Lars Vegas – “Smoking ” – [Akers Recording]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

twisted beat poetry lyrics spoke/sung over a moody swingly jazz combo – strange references and clever insights, indeed smokin’ is the proper tone – even an ode to liver and onions on this fun goof. All tracks are interesting – try them! From what I can’t find on the web, this seems to be the second CD from a Boston area band that includes Dana Colley (of Morphine) on Bari Sax. Akers Recording is MIA. if I find out any more I will add it here: If you like this, try Fred Lane and His Hittite Hot-Shots (2 albums in A library) *review by Studebaker Hawk

Asylum Street Spankers – “Spanker Madness ” – [Spanks-A-Lot Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   CD, Country

grass,…. wine,….. beer, …..hash…… on this happy tribute to the joys of (mostly) natural intoxication. While these are mostly new songs, the style and subjects go way back to the jug bands, blues shouters and such from the early 20th century. (and the skiffle groups, hip folk singers and revivalists of the 1950s and 60s) with lots of harmonica, slide guitar, kazoo, group singing, trad jazz and much more.. must have been quite a recording session!
The Spankers are from Austin and they know their loco-weed very well. Most emphatically Politically INcorrect – there is only one very tiny “bad word” on this, but the concept is pushing the edge, as it should be. .. just have a lot of fun wit it!
*review by Studebaker Hawk

Grinning Idiots – “It’s not the M.O.M.A. ” – [Chainsaw]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

A local (Mid-Peninsula) group that has been around for a while, this is the first recording from Grinning Idiots. I think the main strength of this group is the arrangements, especially in the use of the horn section. Mostly Pop-Jazz-Rock with more than a bit of white-boy T.O.P. funk, with some excursions into sample weirdness and studio tricks. All songs have vocals and are band originals (in their live sets they also do some killer covers!) Cut # 4 is actually the title track, but it is called “Weird Stuff.” Cut #1 is most popular among the band members and does capture their sound well. The G-Idiots could probably do very well on commercial radio (well, KFOG maybe) in an alternative universe. *review by Studebaker Hawk

Three Day Stubble – “Figshta Diaries, the ” – [Nerd Rock Music]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

From the self-proclaimed inventors of Nerd Rock: Staged in March of 1998 in San Francisco, The Figshta Diaries tells the musical story of a girl’s painful rejection by her family and society, her loss of mental health, and of her ultimate, if ambiguous, psychic redemption. (that was from their web site) 3 Day Stubble has had a long history of strangeness and is more than just a bit silly, but there is a lot of interesting music under the top level. They started out in Houston but now are off-centered in SF. (don’t believe the mailing address on the CD – there is a San Francisco in Texas, but not with that Zip Code.) Good stuff for any non-speciality show. I really like the Glockenspiel. *review by Studebaker Hawk

Countdown Quartet, the – “Countdown Quartet, the ” – [Yep Roc]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

Out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina (same place as the Squirrel Nut Zippers come from – and the SNZ guitarist is also part of this group) – well, this is a crazy mixed up group – it don’t know if it is a grungy R & B lounge act, a cast-off New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian krew, an ’50s – ’60’s RocknRoll band or a Dixieland/Swing combo! Fun vocals – some almost in a Doo-Wop style add a lot to this group. Loud and cheezy recording style for the most part – high energy sax and t-bone over a killer guitar/drum/bass funk line give us something new yet old (and I like it a lot!) *review by Studebaker Hawk

Neuburg, Amy X and Men – “Sports! Chips! Booty! ” – [Racer Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

Amy X and her All Boy Choir do some fun stuff here – right outa Oakland and as crazy as ever. She can sound like a female Klaus Nomi (that is different from a male Yma Sumak) and she can also write some damn clever songs. Style and substance and somewhat danceable (or you can sing in the shower) (or drink in the shower) rhythmical tunes that remind me a bit of the late Idiot Flesh or the even later Frank Zappa with unusual instrumentation and effects. Very nice version of the “Alabama Song” for all you Brecht and Weill fans. I like! *review by Studebaker Hawk

Electric Voodoo – “Staying Powers ” – [Tekito Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

deep from the dark side of the French Quarter (home of the Voodoo Queen Marie Leveaux [lee-voh]) comes this twisted ceremonial music – creole chants and African drums layered with amazing feedback freakout electric guitars & keyboard wizardry. I have never been to a real voodoo event so I am not sure if this is kosher, but it sure is scary enough!
Great for late at night… oh yeah, the last track ends quickly, like they ran out of tape. *review by Studebaker Hawk

Those Darn Accordions! – “Amped ” – [Globe Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

Honey, I Shrunk Those Darn Accordions!
The reality of logistics and money having an 8 accordion band finally hit these guys – now down to just 3 boxes, a bass and drums, but still pumping out some great covers and originals. I wish the energy of their recent live shows made it to this recording, but it is still a fun thing from a great local band. Try tracks 3 and 5 for the covers…great for soundtrack and Garage band shows.
*review by Studebaker Hawk

Those Darn Accordions! – “Clownhead ” – [Globe Records]

Studebaker Hawk   1/16/2005   A Library, CD

Coming off the strength of their prior CD (No Strings Attached) TDA has been exploring the range of styles that might work with an 8 accordion band – from new wave techno-rock to blues and modern country. Some of this works, some is a bit weak. Track 4, (a cover of “Low Rider” ) and track 9, Devo’s “Uncontrollable Urge” work just fine as novelty versions.
The Ancient Accordionist Clyde Forsman makes a vocal treat on “The First Bratwurst of Summer” which is the only polka style track. This is a 1999 recording and the band would soon loose several of the players, including Big Lou. *review by Studebaker Hawk

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